Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday: I have great kids!!

 A month ago yesterday was the day that our little Reese entered the world, silent and still, but just perfect...too beautiful for earth. It was a bittersweet day as I expected it to be. I wish he was still here so much, but I am trying to accept God's will and finding some peace in that and trying to concentrate on the fact that he is still my baby and he's still a part of our eternal family. I'm so thankful for the happiness he has brought our family in the short time he's been a part of it. 

Every time I've had a baby I've grown my hair out and donated it to Locks of Love after the baby was born. I just barely donated for Gabriel on Gabriel Day, January 7, of this year, so my hair is still pretty short and won't be ready to donate for awhile. Skylar has been wanting to donate hers for awhile though. She decided that she could donate for me and that the perfect day to do it would be on the one month mark of the day little Reese was born. 

Here she is about to go for the cut. These next two pics are from my cell, so pretty awful:
Her hair was so long!
We went to Great Clips where they will cut the hair for free if you are donating to Locks of Love. Skylar was a little nervous getting in the chair. She's donated before, but it's always a little nerve-wracking to get that much hair cut off in one big cut! 
Measuring to see if her hair is long enough to donate! It was definitely long enough!
There it goes!! 
Awww....she looks so cute!!

Here she is, holding her hair! 
That's a lot of hair, Uncle Ed!!
Skylar was just beaming afterwards. She was so glad to do this in memory of her little brother. She loves him so much and has really struggled with his loss. She puts on a good face, but it's been hard to see her struggle in private. She is just so beautiful....inside and out!! I'm so thankful for the sweet, tender-hearted children that I have been blessed to have here. I'm thankful that they love their little brothers and love to do things for them and remember them. They find such joy in keeping them a part of our family and I love that they want to. I'm thankful to see their little testimonies of the Plan of Salvation growing and know that is one of the blessings we've had from losing these babies. These sweet babies of ours were given to us for a reason and I'm thankful to have them too. I have great kids!!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Today I am just so frustrated. I need to vent and have no one to vent to, so if you don't want to hear it, don't read this.

I'm frustrated that after 16 painful months of infertility I finally got pregnant just to lose this baby for no apparent reason. I feel like I've been punched in the gut.

I'm frustrated that once again I have to go through the pain of the grief process when I had just barely gotten to a place of acceptance with Gabriel's death. I will never "get over" losing Gabe, but I feel okay with it now. Why now, when things were finally starting to feel "normal" again?

I'm frustrated that I still feel pregnant....with daily headaches and nausea.....and my pregnancy hormones haven't gone down enough that I'm still getting positive pregnancy tests. It's pretty dang miserable to have to take a weekly pregnancy test knowing that your baby is dead but your body isn't getting the message yet.

I'm frustrated that I had to go through an entire first trimester full of feeling yucky and miserable, thinking once again, that it would all be worth it.

I'm frustrated that I cancelled my girls' Disneyland trip that we'd planned forever because I found out a week after booking it that I was pregnant and didn't want to risk anything happening to the baby....only to lose this baby anyway....the week that the girls' trip was over.

I'm frustrated that our camping trip to Kodachrome was cancelled because I was miscarrying. We have been wanting to go there for a long time and were so excited about going.

I'm frustrated that Ben and I can't go on a 15th Anniversary trip that we've been planning forever because he used up all of his time off helping me through my miscarriage...and we used all our money to bury our baby because we didn't want to have regrets this time.

I'm frustrated that in the last two years I've been pregnant for 9 months and have nothing to show for it.

I'm frustrated that people that complain about being pregnant or don't want and resent their babies, get them. I wanted my babies so badly.

I'm frustrated that in the last month since losing our little baby, about a million friends have had their babies, including so many rainbow babies, join their family safely. I'm happy for them, but wonder why that couldn't have been us this time.

I'm frustrated that I'm jealous. I hate being jealous. I know it's wrong. I know it's a commandment. I'm trying so hard to not have these feelings. I'm trying to be happy for others. I'm trying to be charitable. I'm not perfect though....far from it. I've never wanted a fancy house or a nice car....all I've wanted is to be a mom....and all I want is to hold my babies, all of my babies, just like everyone else gets to.

I'm frustrated that my birthday is now ruined forever. Who gets a miscarriage for their birthday? Ugh.

I'm frustrated that once again, our Christmas baby is gone. My kids were so excited that we'd have a new baby for the Christmas nativity this year. It's Skylar's turn to be Mary and she was so happy she'd get to hold a real baby instead of a doll. It will be another Christmas season filled with ache and hurt.

I'm frustrated that I thought for some reason that this baby's due date, my grandma's birthday, December 3, meant that she was pulling some strings on the other side for me. I thought that seemed so much like my grandma who absolutely loved her birthday and would want it celebrated. Now, it will just be a painful day missing both my grandma and the baby that was due that day.

I'm frustrated that I can't sleep at night because of the incredible hurt that I feel. I'm completely physically and emotionally exhausted all of the time. My mind won't stop wondering why this is all happening....again?

I'm frustrated that just a few months ago I was promised in a priesthood blessing that I would have more children to raise here on earth....and I trusted that and put so much hope into this pregnancy. I know that doesn't necessarily mean I won't have more, but I also know too well that not all promises come the way we expect them, even if we are promised that in a blessing.

I'm frustrated that this is my third loss in a row. That means expensive testing and bloodwork if we want to try again....even though those may not have any answers. The doctors don't know why this is happening since there's no pattern to my losses. It doesn't make any sense to them....or me.

I'm frustrated that I've already been told by people that I should move on and give up trying for another baby. I've had people tell me it's time to accept that we can't have more...or that maybe we could adopt (which isn't an option right now), but my doctor tells me that he sees no reason why I can't have more. I feel like my body failed me enough without having people tell me that they think I'm damaged too.

I'm frustrated that I'm so depressed that getting out of bed in the morning feels like climbing to the top of a freaking mountain and simple tasks seem like so much. I wish no one would expect anything out of me right now and yet they do because no one understands just how awful this is to me.

I'm frustrated that we've had so many trials in the last few years, along with losing three pregnancies, along with losing two fully formed babies that we had grown to love. It just seems like too much. I need a break in the worst way.

I'm frustrated that just a month ago at my YW Presidency meeting, we were making plans to accommodate me being pregnant at girl's camp and now at today's meeting....nothing. It's all over....yet I'm still going to have to go and keep my chin up for those girls that I know are watching me. I love serving in Young Women, but it's hard to feel like I have to be an example when I feel like I'm barely making it.

I'm frustrated that no one knows what to say to me, but I'm thankful for those that will at least say something. I'm frustrated about all the awkwardness that this creates for me and others. I feel like the big giant elephant in the room.

I'm frustrated that even the friends that were there for me before are almost non-existent this time. I'm sure it's frustrating for them to think of going through this with me again. I feel so lonely.

I'm frustrated that I really don't have anyone that I can truly talk to who understands this....who has been through three losses in a row, all different, and without answers....who has felt the sting of infertility mixed in with all of it too. Ben is wonderful, but it's not the same for him. The only one who truly understands is the Savior and yet it's not like I can just sit down and have a conversation with Him.

I'm frustrated that Ben is carrying such a burden through all of this. He's been so great but I know this is so hard on him. He's grieving too, but no one asks him how he is. He's the one that has to be strong because I can't be. I love him more and more every day for being by my side through this.

 I'm frustrated that my kids are having the worst summer ever because they have a mom that is so depressed and also still going through all of the physical things of a miscarriage which limits so much of what I feel we can do.

I'm frustrated that I have kids come to me with aching hearts and questions that can't be answered because they don't understand God's plan for our family. I don't understand it either. I know He has a plan for us though....and that plan includes happiness....someday.

 I'm frustrated that I allowed myself to already make plans, hopes, and dreams for our little Reese that will never be fulfilled. I will still remember all the milestones he would've had. I think about them every day with Gabriel. Now I have two babies that will never get to do the things I hoped for them.

I'm frustrated that I once again am afraid to make plans....for tomorrow, for next week, for next year, because my plans don't seem to work out anymore and hurts to be disappointed over and over again.  I feel so lost without any direction of what I'm supposed to do next.

I'm frustrated that I feel awkward talking about Reese, because so many people don't think of him as a baby. He is my baby. I saw his body moving on an ultrasound, so full of life and I know his little spirit was there. I held his perfect teeny little body in my hand and even though his spirit was gone, I think he counts, Ben thinks he counts, and our kids think he counts, even if so many don't. I guess that's all that really matters.

I'm just frustrated that there are no this life...and the next seems so very, very far away. I miss my babies so, so much.....and even though I know I can do hard things, it's frustrating that I have to.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful that I have two babies waiting for me. Although I miss them now, I'm so thankful that they are mine and that for the short time they were with me, they brought me so much happiness. I loved them every single second and that love will last forever!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Honestly, the last few weeks  have been the most depressing of my life. I feel so defeated, so abandoned, so hopeless, so forgotten, and truly just so unloved. I have wondered how the Lord could put me through the trial of losing yet another baby, especially after waiting so very long to even get our little Reese here. I have struggled to get out of bed every day and face another day full of pain and hopelessness. The days that I have managed it, after pleading in my prayers for the strength to even do it, I just longingly wait for the time I can crawl back into bed again, even though I know that sleep will still elude me as I can't stop thinking of the blessings that seem to be being withheld for reasons I can't begin to understand.

Last night, as I climbed into bed right after my kids had climbed in theirs, exhausted from trying for another day, I turned to the gospel for something to help ease the pain. As I read in the May conference issue, I reread Henry B. Eyring's message, Mountains to Climb. I read about having the foundation to endure our trials and adversity as it comes to us and I am thankful to that I have that foundation. I am thankful for the faith that I have already built that has forced me to not give up on the gospel, even though I don't have the answers about why I am facing this particularly painful and heartbreaking trial, once again. President Eyring said, "In their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with Them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there."

As much as I hate my trials, especially the heartache of losing my little babies, I am thankful that I have learned how to really use the Atonement of Christ. I know it doesn't mean my heartache will go away instantly....or even in this life, but I do know that it is pushing me to know and depend on my Savior more than I ever would've had I not had to face this kind of pain. He is truly the only one who understands just how much my heart hurts and He's the only one that can help to heal it.

President Eyring went on to say, "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word."

How I needed to be reminded that the promises I have been given will still be fulfilled, even if I have to be patient for them and endure to the end. How I needed to know that my angels are watching over me and helping me, even if it only is to push me out of bed on the days when that seems nearly impossible. I'm so thankful that those words could reach me last night and help heal my heart a little and I'm thankful that despite waking up with a heavy heart, once again, I was able to climb out of bed for a little while.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Parents who have surrendered the sweetest and smallest flowers from the family's garden need to remember our loving Heavenly Father. He has promised a special reward to those who now suffer in silence, who spend long days and longer nights through their trying times of bereavement. Our Creator has promised glory. He said, "For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." (D&C 58:4)    

"That promised glory includes the blessing of reunion with each little child who has left the family circle early to help surviving members of the family to draw nearer to God. Those little children still live and are a heritage of the Lord." ~Russell M. Nelson

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another Precious Baby....Gone Too Soon

This wasn't the post I expected to be writing this week. We had all the faith in the world that this announcement would be so wonderful....that our long awaited, fasted and prayed for, ached and longed for, precious rainbow baby was finally on the way. We had already made the announcement to our family and friends at Nick's baptism a few weeks ago. We had shown everyone our baby's first picture from the ultrasound we had a few weeks ago....where our baby's heart was beating so strong and those tiny little arms were waving at us. We had already fallen so in love with this baby.....and now he's already gone.
   On May 23, I was about 12 1/2 weeks. I was spotting a little. It scared me to death. I called the nurse but she told me it wasn't a big deal, that it was pretty common at 12 weeks to bleed a little as my uterus got bigger. I already had an appointment the next morning so she said I'd be fine to wait until then to come in to the Dr. I was still worried. I still couldn't sleep. Ben gave me a blessing and in the blessing he blessed that if it was the Lord's will that this baby would be okay...but if not that we'd be able to accept His plan for our family.

    The baby was not okay. Once again, there was no heartbeat. The Dr. couldn't find it with the Doppler or the portable ultrasound machine. He sent us down to the Provo office to check and heartbeat...and our baby that had been so active just weeks before was laying so still. The doctor there was baffled. There was no sign of blood around the baby, which they said is common if something is wrong with the mother's body, and no apparent reason that our baby was gone. The baby had just stopped developing. His little heart had just stopped beating. The Dr. told us that once you get a good heartbeat on an ultrasound that usually there isn't a problem. My Dr. had told me that my chances with this baby being fine were so good, especially since Gabriel's death was a cord accident, which is so rare. I still did everything right with this baby, taking extra precautions and not risking anything, and I don't know why my body failed it. With the baby being so little, we would never get the answers we did with Gabriel. The Dr. wanted me to go in for a D&C the next morning....but when I told him that it was my birthday.....he decided maybe it wasn't the best day. Not that it would've mattered. This birthday was already going to be the most horrible of my life.

      I started bleeding almost as soon as we got home. The Dr. just told us to watch it and let him know. They suggested that since I was so far along that a D&C would be much better than having a natural miscarriage, like I'd done with my early miscarriage a few months ago. As long as the bleeding was okay, I'd just be scheduled for the D&C for the Tuesday after the holiday weekend. So I headed to bed to wait....once again feeling so helpless.

    The kids got home from school and we knew we had to tell them that once again we were losing a baby they had already grown to love and wanted so much. That has to be one of the hardest conversations to have with your children....and here we were again. Skylar and Nick just sobbed and sobbed. Ben and I sobbed right along with them. Kade was Kade. He always tries to be strong. He doesn't want us to know he's hurt, but he is. His kindergarten teacher had told me that he had told his entire class about this baby and was so proud. He couldn't hide his look of disappointment. Alexis's reaction was the one we weren't expecting. It's hard to see your 3 year old understand exactly what it means when you tell them that a baby has died. She already knows that reality too well and she was angry. She screamed and yelled and threw pillows. She wouldn't look at me or come near me for the first two days and has been angry about everything since. The baby that she was once again promised is once again gone and I know I've disappointed her. She wants nothing more than having a little baby in our house and had been so excited. My heart is so broken for my little ones and their disappointed hearts.

    The next day was my birthday. I tried so hard to make it through my birthday and let Ben, my little ones, and all of the people that love us have a chance to love me and celebrate even though I had no desire to celebrate at all. I really felt so loved that day. Ben had told our parents and had sent out an e-mail to the ward council and I had texted the friends that knew about our baby. Word spread fast and visitors came by with hugs and tears too. I'm so thankful for those that could cry and hurt with us. Of course no one knows what to say. One loss is horrible, but this is just getting unbearable...and I don't expect or even want any wise words of wisdom....just a simple "I'm sorry" means so much right now. After getting tons of texts and messages to have a "fabulous day!" Ben finally put the news on Facebook so that maybe people would see that maybe it wasn't the most happiest of birthdays for me. Our doorbell rang almost constantly and food, cards, gifts, and flowers showed up....even some were planted in our garden. I didn't see everyone that came. I just didn't have the energy, but thank you to everyone that made an effort to let us know you care. We realized once again that in our heartbreak, we were still so blessed to be loved by so many.

       We had planned to go camping that weekend at Kodachrome State Park for my birthday and Memorial Day. Since we didn't get to do that, I still wanted the kids to get to go out for my annual birthday dinner at Tucano's. We went and it was hard. It was hard to see so many happy people and have to fake that everything was just normal when everything was so not normal. I broke down crying in the restaurant a few times, but I survived. The kids wanted it to be a happy birthday for me but that was hard. I was worn out after we ate and headed back to bed. It wasn't the best birthday.

      On Saturday I have to admit that I was mad. I was so mad. I was angry that we had to do this again. I was angry that I had put faith and allowed myself to hope in this pregnancy. I was angry that we had waited so long to even get pregnant, 16 months, only to have this baby taken away too. I was angry that my children and my husband and I had to go through this heartache again. Our bishop came over that night and talked to us and I told him just how angry I was. He told me he was angry too...that he had wanted us to have this baby too....and assured me that our Heavenly Father can handle it. I am so thankful that he came over. Ben and the bishop reminded me of all that I have learned since losing Gabriel. They reminded me that I'm not a horrible person to be feeling what I am but they also reminded me that since I've learned so much that I can apply that now instead of having to start from the beginning. I know that the emotional part of losing this baby is going to far outlast the physical part. But I know that I'll be able to get through the shock, the anger, the jealousy, the loneliness, the depression. I can do it because I know that I've done it before. I know that I can depend on the Savior now more than ever and that He knows my pains and will be here, even when I feel alone, because He's helped me through it before. I guess this is another blessing of losing Gabriel. I know that I can face it again and come out stronger than I was before.

      By Saturday night I was feeling pretty miserable physically and it was pretty clear that my body wasn't going to make it until Tuesday for the D&C. The Dr. had prescribed me pain pills and meds to help with the bleeding, and instructed us to go to the ER if there were any problems. He still felt that I might need a D&C even if I did go naturally since my pregnancy was further along. On Sunday, the day I would have been 13 weeks, the real labor pains kicked in. Ben took the kids to church, but kept checking on me while he was there. I was thankful that the worst didn't happen until he was home because this was one of the scariest and most painful things I've ever had to go through. Right before the baby passed I felt this incredible sense of peace and the pain seemed to disappear for a few minutes, which was amazing because it was so intense. I am so thankful for that peace that came right before my teeny little baby was born. We had another perfectly formed, yet so tiny and still, little baby boy. I knew it would be hard to tell when they are so tiny but I had felt he was a boy for most of my pregnancy (my boys' pregnancies are riddled with nausea, but no vomiting, and awful migraines...all of which I had the entire time....all of which I welcomed because I knew it was worth it) and he really looked like a little boy. Although it might have been easier to have the D&C it was also very humbling, once again, to see this perfectly formed little baby, and to marvel at just how amazing and perfect creation is...even when so very tiny. He had the sweetest little hands, with all 10 fingers perfectly formed. I just marveled at his little hands and how precious they were. We now have two little boys in heaven waiting for us. The family I always wanted....2 girls and 4 boys....mine forever...but so different than I had always thought it would be. How I miss my precious baby boys.

      We named our sweet baby boy Reese Aaron Jordan. It took us awhile to come up with the perfect name, like always, but we put a lot of thought and prayer into the decision. When I was barely pregnant with Reese and our kids had no clue that I was, Alexis announced to me that I had our Rainbow Reese in my tummy. She had a girl in her dance class named Reese and had fallen in love with the name....a name I'd always loved anyway, but for a boy. It's also a family name on my dad's side of the family, although the Welsh spelling is Rhys. Alexis has called the baby Rainbow Reese the entire time and we knew that was his name. Even though he didn't get to stay and be our rainbow baby, he did bring us so much joy and happiness while he was here. Reese means enthusiasm, which is just perfect, because of the enthusiasm he brought to our family. Aaron means exalted and mountain of strength. I like the meaning because it also goes along with Gabriel, which means God is our strength. Our little boys will help us have the strength to go through this life without them until we can be with them again. Aaron was also Moses' brother and a man of God, as well as a great missionary in the Book of Mormon. I know that our little Reese Aaron has fulfilled his earthly mission and is now busy with the missionary work on the other side that is greatly needed too, and as much as I needed him here, I know that he's doing what he's meant to do.

 The kids have already talked about how wonderful it is to have two angels to watch over us now. We have already felt a lot of peace, although we are all still aching incredibly. It isn't how we wanted it to be, but I already know what a gift it is to have someone you love so much on the other side. We have a sign in our house that says "When someone you love is in heaven, you feel heaven in your home." I know that's true. I know the veil is thin and that our babies will be here with us too, even if we can't see them or hold them for now. The fear of the overwhelming grief lasting forever isn't here this time. Now that we've been able to survive Gabe's loss, I know we can survive this. I already know that this baby will continue to be an important part of our family. I know he'll be by our sides when we need him. There is so much peace in having that knowledge already.  Our family is forever and we are so very blessed to know that.

     At the very beginning of this pregnancy I asked a friend of mine, one who has survived three losses herself, how you could survive the fear of pregnancy after a loss, after multiples losses. She gave me the most amazing advice. She said, "You just love that baby every single moment that you get to have the baby. You let the love outweigh the fear. If you only get the baby for a few weeks, then you will have spent the entire time you had the baby loving it instead of being scared." That's exactly what we did. We loved this baby from the moment we knew he was coming. He was cradled in my tummy each night by Ben. Once the kids knew, he was kissed and hugged a hundred times a day from my kids. I could barely move anywhere without one of them rubbing my belly and telling the baby how loved he was. He was prayed for in every single prayer, that he would be safe and he would be okay....and even though those prayers were answered differently than we expected, we know that he is safe and he is okay. Most importantly, we know that we loved him for every second we had him...and that love is not gone. He is forever our baby and he is forever loved.